Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, has criticised Governor Nasir El-Rufai over the planned sack of over 21, 000 primaryschool teachers.
Mr. Sani, a critic of the governor, described the move as a ‘height of lunacy.’
Governor El-Rufai had in October announced, at a meeting with World Bank representatives, his intention of disengaging 21,780 teachers, about two-thirds of the total teachers’ population.
“The hiring of teachers in the past was politicised and we intend to change that by bringing in young and qualified primary school teachers to restore the dignity of education in the state,” the governor said concerning the teachers who reportedly failed to score 75 per cent in a primary four examination the state set for them to test their academic abilities.
The Kaduna State government has repeatedly said the 25,000 new teachers to be recruited will be professionally screened and tested to assure only competent hands are employed. The government has also said the teachers to be sacked who feel they are still qualified can reapply to be among those to be recruited.
But critics like Mr. Sani and the teachers’ union say the process is wrong and political.
The Kaduna State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, on Monday said, it has concluded arrangements to embark on an indefinite strike and shut down schools if the governor fails to shelve his plan by the end of the two-week ultimatum. The governor has dismissed their threats.
In a similar manner, Mr. Sani condemned the governor’s plan to sack the school teachers.
“The sacking of over 21 000 primary school teachers by the Kaduna State Governor stands condemned,” he said.
“It’s inhuman and the height of lunacy by a man who derives pleasure by inflicting suffering and hardship on others.”
The lawmaker questioned Mr. El-Rufai’s spending of the state’s school feeding project fund alleging the sack is “a plot to employ political loyalists of the Governor.”
“How can the Governor who blew over N10 billion feeding school children only to realise that the teachers are incompetent. El-Rufai’s action has brought nothing but chaos and confusion in public school in Kaduna.
“He promised the people of the state that he will enrol his children in public school when he becomes governor, he has not only failed to do that but he is destroying the educational future of those who chose to send their wards to public school. Incompetence is not a reason but an excuse to sack thousands of teachers owed salaries for months.
“El-rufai wants to employ politically loyal teachers he will use for 2019 elections as polling agents,” the senator alleged.
“At the time the Federal Government is ‘celebrating’ creating 7 million jobs, at a time the Governor is also claiming to create hundreds of jobs, thousands of teaching jobs are today marked for funeral service in Kaduna. Job creation in Nigeria today has become mythical, magical, farcical and comical. They create a few jobs and murder many others.”
The governor’s reaction to this latest criticism could not be immediately sought at the time of filing report.